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September 5, 2022

Tralee Chamber is asking ministers to retain the 9% VAT Rate and take greater action to tackle the housing situation

Mark Sullivan, Manager of The Rose Hotel and Board Member of Tralee Chamber said “In Kerry, tourism makes a vital economic contribution, in 2019 it supported 15,700 jobs and generated 592 million Euro in local tourism revenues.

To support this the retention of the 9% VAT rate is essential for the Hospitality industry to firstly support our cost competitiveness in line with other European countries and secondly with massive price rises in business s costs we already face a very uncertain future. Increasing the VAT rate to 13.5 % would leave us with the second highest vat rate in Europe and would most certainly have a negative effect on incoming tour operators and other visitors alike.

For the Irish holiday maker further increases in accommodation and food rates will become unsustainable and again put the consumer under further pressure. We are already facing massive cost increases in particular electricity increases of 80 to 90%, linen increases of 31%, food increases of 20 to 30 % and insurance premiums climbing again. It is important that we retain the 9% VAT rate but also address the cost increase that will force Hotels, Restaurants & Bars to fully close or temporarily close over the winter period.”         

Echoing Mr Sullivan; Chief Executive of Tralee Chamber Colette O’Connor added “It is completely non sensical to put Irish hospitality at a place where it will be above the European average, this will have a devastating impact on businesses across the sector.”

Speaking in relation to other key items ahead of the budget Ms O’Connor outlined Tralee Chamber’s lobbying for action on Housing, Skills & Talent and Energy. “We need to build resilience and focus on being more proactive when faced with challenges, a learning needs to be had from the past three years, dealing with the pandemic, the ongoing War on Ukraine and subsequent rising costs. As it stands, we are at a crisis point in terms of energy and housing. Attracting skills and talent into Ireland particularly, rural heartlands such as Kerry is difficult when there is a dire shortage of long-term affordable housing either on the rental or sales market. The real challenge for Government in Budget 2023 will be keeping their attention on the long-term challenges that will continue to impact on business.”

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